Crimson liquid spilled profusely onto the drenched pavement. A muscular hand struggled vainly to suppress the blood-flow, but it kept slipping and gurgling past his fingers. Hot agony danced through his severed nerves, lacerated flesh screaming in pain.

Rain water, falling in torrential sheets, washed away his vital fluid to the ground below, blurring even further his already teared vision. He'd scream if he could, but no. His raw throat was clutched tightly in the hands of an angry giant, strangling him to no end.

Crack! Lightning crashed through the blackened sky, thunder roared with a lion's vitality. His ear drums buzzed with the deep reverberations, traveling down deep to rattle the marrow of his exauhsted bones.

Spiked ebony hair, tipped in a vibrant ruby, clung hap-hazard to his flushed cheeks; golden crown of bangs falling mercilessly into his tired eyes.

So much blood lost, so little life left. Those hunting him had left him for dead.

That was over four hours ago.

The waning hours of the night were drawing to a rapid close. He would die if he didn't find shelter. He was going to die anyway. There was no denying that fact.

He could hear the grim reaper crawling at his doorstep.

His presence was going to fall off the face the earth and there wasn't a soul that would miss him.

Miss him. Ha! Were he not in so much pain, he'd laugh for all his worth.

No one would miss him. No one would grieve and no one would mourn. If anything, they'd cheer.

The sadistic thoughts coursing through his mind would make the keeper of the damned shiver in terror. Blood-stained memories and tortured screams were the only things that filled his head.

Who would want a bastard like him alive any longer? He was only getting what he duly deserved.

Damn karma. His unspeakable sins had finally caught up with him.

Once again he tried to force his dying body to move, and once again he only succeeded in causing more blood to pour from his still open wound.

Foul language of every tongue left his mouth in a violent stream. Say hello to the end.

Slowly, his pride began to leave him, his capricious nature falling to the ashes. He would fight it no longer. There was no point. What did it matter now, anyway? His spirit had finally broke. By morning he would be dead.

The rain continued to fall, beating away his arrogant nature. And it was the dreary rain that he would last remember. What a wonderful end to a bloodied life.

* * * * *

Yuugi had been appalled. Since when did his grandfather's car -not- work?

That answer was simple enough. It was because of the rain. Rain always gave people car problems, the Moto's in particular.

Still, he had to make it home. Next Friday, the teen promised to himself that he would not stay up for any late-night movies at Jonouchi's house. Especially if it was a cheesy horror film with the world worst special effects.

Rain beat down heavily upon his face. The umbrella wasn't helping much at all. If anything, it was merely slowing him down as it was whipped about in the gushing winds.

'You have to be home tonight, Yuugi,' his grandfather's voice rang through his head. 'Lots of work tomorrow.'

Grumbling to himself, he trudged on as fast as he could, head bent down.

Not even his arms could stop the rain from getting in his face!

Not one soul was out in the road, especially at this time of night. Not even a late worker coming home in their vehicle.

Street lights tried valiantly to pierce the heavy rains, giving little light in the dark night around him.

His foot splashed accidentally in the gutter, causing the running stream to splash around him, drenching his pants the rest of the way. After all, the rest of him was completely wet. Oh, a warm bed sure sounded good right now.

Wait, something wasn't right with the water. What was it? Dirtier than usual? Discolored?

By the gods, it looked like blood! Blood was running down from the sidewalk!

Horrified, he followed it to find the source. A small alley not too far off. It was a very small one, just a little corner at the end of an old antique shop.

Curled in a fetal position, alone in a dreary corner, a small figure lay cloaked in darkness.

Cautiously, Yuugi began to reason with himself. It couldn't have been a gang fight or something, there'd be more bodies, more sign of destruction. A burglar? No, someone would have called the police, or an ambulance.

Eventually, Yuugi's compassion for an injured person overrode his logic.

Tentatively, ignoring the falling rain, he walked up to the lonely figure.

"Are you alright? Can you hear me?" He walked over and held the umbrella above the person's head. It looked like a male, not much older than him. His hair was too wet and too plastered to his frame to tell what it looked like, though. Sheltered from the wind as they were, it actually did some good to have the umbrella over him. At least now he might be able to open his eyes.

And open his eyes he did.

The sickly pale lids flickered open to reveal the brightest crimson eyes that Yuugi had ever seen.

And the teenager thought that his eyes were rare, being purple.

Yuugi's heart clenched tight. The look of desperation, sadness, and the overall sense of loss and giving up nearly made him choke.

"W-what happened to you?" he stammered.

The ruby eyes starred at him in disbelief, or awe, or bemusement. Yuugi couldn't be sure.

"We have to get you out of here, and into someplace warm!"

Still no answer, just that saddened stare. It was almost as if they were saying 'there's nothing that you can do now.'

But Yuugi was determined. Seeing that one arm was being clutched, and covered in blood despite the rain, he decided to steer clear of that one. Instead, he wrapped his arm around the stranger's waist on the opposite side and heaved upward gently with all of his might. After all, he was a very small person.

The other male groaned in pain, but Yuugi kept going, supporting the heavy body against himself as he dragged it along.

Under the light of the street, the true color of the other boy was finally revealed: sickly pale and tinged with blue.

A large loss of blood.

His home at the local game shop wasn't too far off now, only a few more minutes and he would be there.

After what must have been an eternity of pulling, grunting, re- positioning and curses, Yuugi walked up to the front door that read 'Sorry, we're closed, please come back later.' A warm, welcoming light filled the entire store. With an exauhsted grumble, the teenager pushed open the door, almost dropping his cargo to the floor.

"Oh, Yuugi, you're home. What took you so-" Solomon Moto stopped short, looking down at what his grandson was carrying.

"Grandpa, we have to help him! He was just laying there in an empty alley, bleeding to death! Please!"

Trying to recover from this shock, he couldn't help but think of what a good heart that Yuugi had.

But enough of that, from the look of the stranger, he'd have to work quickly to save him.

"I'll bring him into the bathroom, Yuugi, and put him in the tub for now. He's spilling blood all over the floor."

His grandson shook his head vigorously in agreement, gladly handing over his burden. Every muscle was aching.

"I'll get the first aid kit."

In any other person's case, they might have taken the wounded boy directly to a hospital, but they didn't need to, and in this case, they didn't have the time.

Solomon Moto had training in medical care. Out on archeological digs all of the time in Egypt, there wasn't always a ready facility to house the wounded or sick. So, naturally, the elder man had studied profusely to be able to tend to the needs of others in more extensive situations. And people got hurt in digs quite frequently.

In their small bathroom, Yuugi tumbled in, still in his sopping wet clothes, clutching the handle of a big, pale pink box. When he was young, it had always reminded him of the Pepto-Bismol that people always took for stomach aches. In a way, he would always think of it like that.

Grandpa had stripped the wounded boy in his tub to a thin pair of boxer- shorts.

The amount of bruises, cuts, punctures and lacerations was appalling. The worst was his left arm, which was still bleeding.

"Quickly, Yuugi, get out the stitches, otherwise this will never close."

It didn't look like he would need any anesthetic. The youth was already passed out, moaning in his sleep. It was a surprise that he hadn't passed out hours ago.

"Are you going to be able to help him grandpa?"

The old man sighed, running a hand through his silver hair. "We're in for a rough night, Yuugi."

* * * * *